Headline March 09, 2016/ ''' *STUDENTS* & SUFFERINGS ''' : HAITI



IN HAITI   -a quarter of the population earns less than  $1.24  a day, in other very simple words : *the threshold of absolute poverty  

FOR OVER SIX YEARS    -since an earthquake, known in Creole as the goudougoudou, struck Haiti on January 12, 2010,    the capitals cinemas have lain in ruins.

The loss of hundreds and thousands of lives, the uprooting of over 1.5 million people and post-quake  cholera outbreaks are obviously more traumatic for a nation of  10 million that is.......  *among the poorest in the world*.

Despite a  $10 billion rescue and recovery effort launched amid a shower of goodwill, the jobs looks just half-done. Only 80,000+ people remain in ''tent cities'',.....   but many have found new digs live in ramshackle temporary developments sprawling up hillsides.

The capital's new airport works well, but in the city center new multi-storey government ministries remain empty concrete hulks.

Politics remain as chaotic as the traffic. Despite international promises to help Haiti build better government institutions, municipal and parliamentary elections in 2015 are three years overdue.

On the fifth anniversary of the quake was the day the political crisis forced parliament to shutdown. So many senators' mandates had expired that it became impossible to muster a majority.

Three factors, above all, exacerbate all the problems. First, much of the international aid on which the country is so reliant has bypassed the Haitian government, businesses and institutions, missing a chance to help strengthen them, according to the IMF.

In 2013 the Washington based Centre for Economic and Policy Research calculated that only  0.7%  of more than $2 billion of planned spending by the United States Agency for International Development  {USAID}  had gone to the Haitian institutions since the quake.

Most had gone to contractors in and around Washington.

What's more, donors who had legitimate concerns about corruption and capacity constraints in Haiti were overconfident about their own skills. The United States for example, promised to kick-start business development in northern Haiti by-

Building a port linked to a new industrial park. The port is years behind schedule, undermining the whole project. A foreign businessman in Haiti says that if international donors had merely agreed to build a sewage system in Port-au-Prince, the benefits would have been more enduring.

Second, aid has been dwindling for many years, and is now drying up. Some of this is because of donor fatigue and pressing demands elsewhere.

Venezuela, which had been a big benefactor via its PetroCaribe fund for subsidized oil, is running out of money. According to the IMF, PetroCaribe accounts for  84%  of  Haiti's foreign debt.

The economy is Haiti's third disappointment. The tourism industry is still weak, and Haiti has among the most expensive electricity in the Caribbean. Income tax amounts to just 2.5% GDP.

Yet on some measures Haiti has made progress. Extreme poverty is less than it was in 2000. School enrolment has increased. Murders related to organised crime have ebbed. Though there has been little improvement in the in the ease of doing business-

NGO's such as TechnoServe, which helps small firms, says export of mangoes and other agricultural products have benefited from better infrastructure.

Technology start-ups such as Surtab, which makes a low cost Tablet, have provided a big dose of national pride, as well a small source of well-paid jobs  

To create more such businesses, officials say that Haiti needs to court its diaspora rather than foreign governments. Remittances amount to than a fifth of GDP, but bringing talented Haitians back home would help even more than their cash.

Haitian living abroad know how badly the country needs stable politics to nurture its economy. So, Until,   Haiti's warring politicians start playing by democratic rules, its recovery from the calamitous earthquake will be incomplete.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Haiti and the world. See Ya all on !WOW! and the Ecosystem 2011-

''' The Dragon '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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